Valentino the Sloth Released & More - April 2019 News

Sloth in tree

Welcome to April´s edition of our monthly newsletter! Continue reading to find out what we have been up to since we posted our last newsletter!

Arrivals!

We have been providing refuge to an adult, male porcupine, after it was hit by a car. Its front tooth was broken off, however, this is something that will grow back. Despite the chipped tooth, the porcupine can still eat perfectly fine. We are monitoring it for a few more days and will then release it back into the wild.

 chipped tooth of the porcupineThe chipped tooth of the porcupine

We have rescued and released a barn owl that was found on the ground and temporarily cared for by a family. After reading about the work we do, and the emphasis we place on animal releases, the owl was brought to us with the hopes of us setting it free soon. We kept the owl under our care in order to monitor it, however, after a few days, it was evident that the bird was independent enough to fend for itself.

A mouse opossum was taken by a domestic cat in Uvita. Although it had no physical injuries, we were still called in order to assess if it sustained any injuries. Thankfully it was fine, but too young to be released as yet.

A two-toed sloth suffered a brake in its femur in its back leg after falling off from a tree. We had the pleasure to welcome back Dr. Kathy Wander who performed an outstanding surgery on the sloth´s leg; placing a pin in order to hold the fracture together. The sloth is now in one of our rehab enclosures for recovery and physiotherapy, as well as waiting for the hair to re-grow on its arm.

 two toed sloth being operated onThe two-toed sloth being operated on by Dr. Kathy Wander

 two toed sloth climbingThe two-toed sloth, a few days after surgery, practicing his climbing skills!

We have rescued and released a barn owl that was found on the ground and temporarily cared for by a family. After reading about the work we do, and the emphasis we place on animal releases, the owl was brought to us with the hopes of us setting it free soon. We kept the owl under our care in order to monitor it, however, after a few days, it was evident that the bird was independent enough to fend for itself.

A mouse opossum was taken by a domestic cat in Uvita. Although it had no physical injuries, we were still called in order to assess if it sustained any injuries. Thankfully it was fine, but too young to be released as yet.

We have rescued another baby two-toed sloth after it was found clinging on to its mother´s dead body. Someone noticed an adult sloth and her young up in a tree, and after a day realised that the mother had not moved an inch. We managed to take the baby as well as its mother. The baby, approximately three to four months old, was extremely weak, dehydrated and had very low glucose levels. Our veterinarian Dr. Sandy, performed a necropsy on the mother in order to determine the cause of death. The female had a substantial amount of liquid in her lungs which could possibly be related to a heat stroke or pneumonia.

 young CoatimundiThe young Coatimundi upon arrival

We were called to rescue a very young, female Coati that was found on the side of the road, without its mother. The female was so small, she could literally fit in the palm of your hand! She had no physical or internal injuries, but was dehydrated and infested with parasites; the possible cause for her abandonment.  We are keeping a watchful eye on the playful youngster, and although primarily kept in an incubator, she is starting to be taken out to our baby garden for a few minutes at a time, to get some fresh air, and vitamin D!

Yet again, we have received a whole family of young, four eyed opossums that were found abandoned on a farm. The 5 juveniles, which we named after the Jackson Five, were separated into two groups, of three and two individuals in order to keep a better eye on their feeding patterns and quantities. As with all our opossums that we raise, we are waiting for the juveniles to reach a certain weight before we can release them.

Releases!

The two-toed sloth which we received last month from ballena national park was released (as shown in the cover photo)! Valentino, who was rescued on valentine´s day, was brought to us after he was found on the ground, unable to move and protect himself. X-rays showed that he was experiencing no physical damage, however, was not able to use his two back legs, almost as if he was paralyzed. Through the correct administration of anti-inflammatories and the right about of physiotherapy, Valentino was recovering quickly, and slowly but surely, began using all four limbs to climb around his enclosure. We released him a few days ago after we were confident that he was ready to be released into the wild again!

 Valentino the slothValentino, out in the wild!

SINAC (Sistema Nacional de Areas de Conservacion) came to collect the two peccaries which we were caring for. A few months ago, these two juveniles were confiscated after being found in a small, wooden hutch. They were taken from the wild and were being kept in horrendous circumstances, probably being fattened up to be killed for food. We were required to care for the peccaries whilst the court dispute was taking place. Once everything was settled, the siblings were released. Our veterinary team chipped the peccaries, as the a new governmental law requires all rescued and released wildlife to be chipped for future referral.

 Dr. Sandy operating on peccaryDr. Sandy placing the chip in one of the peccaries

We have also released four juvenile common opossums. Three of them were related, and were brought to us after someone found them under their oven, with no mother in sight. The fourth was introduced to the group after we were raising him alone. His mother was attacked by a dog.

The duck who was previously kept as a pet has also been released into one of Costa Rica´s rivers. As we mentioned last month, we were waiting for this black bellied whistling duck´s feathers to grow back in order for it to be able to fly. After a successful flight test, we released it into the wild, where it was always destined to be.

 black bellied whistling duckThe black bellied whistling duck

New Sanctuary Resident!

After x-rays and attempting to treat what looked like an old wing fracture, our veterinary team came to the conclusion that the aracari we received last month, would never be able to fly again. Flight tests proved unsuccessful, and our team were forced to decide the fate of this Pteroglossus. We decided to introduce it to one of our aracaris in our sanctuary. The two are now together and seem to be getting accustomed to each other´s company.